The bad news regarding Brandon Crawford was that the Giants’ shortstop came in Wednesday feeling the same as he did Tuesday night, when he left the Giants’ loss to the Cubs with tightness in his left side. The good news regarding Crawford was that he didn’t feel any worse.
Crawford’s injury was enough to keep him out of the lineup Wednesday night, and likely at least through this series against the Cubs. But the Giants were holding out hope their shortstop won’t miss much more.
Crawford said he has “mild” tightness in his left oblique. But he said it doesn’t feel as serious as the oblique strain Crawford suffered during the final game of the 2013 season. It’s not thought to be as severe as the strain that has Hunter Pence on the disabled list.
“They didn’t feel like we needed to do an MRI or anything,” Crawford said. “Hopefully it’s a couple days.”
Manager Bruce Bochy said the Giants will be careful with Crawford the next couple days to make sure the injury doesn’t worsen. Already beset by injuries, the Giants can ill afford to lose Crawford, who ranks second on the team in home runs (19) and RBIs (75).
Crawford said “realistically” his goal is to be back in the lineup for Friday’s series opener against the St. Louis Cardinals, and Bochy echoed that, saying: “Our hope is it’s just a two-day deal.”
▪ After the relatively good news on Crawford, the Giants took another lineup hit about an hour before first pitch, announcing they’d scratched Gregor Blanco from the lineup with a left hip strain. Juan Perez – who played second base for the first time since 2009 in the minors on Tuesday night after Crawford came out – replaced Blanco in center.
The Giants are now without Pence, Blanco and Angel Pagan in the outfield. The severity of Blanco’s injury was not immediately known. Pagan, though, could be returning soon. He went 2 for 3 with two walks Tuesday night in his first rehab game with Sacramento, and was scheduled to play nine innings Wednesday, then join the Giants to be evaluated and potentially activated if his knee feels good.
▪ The Giants’ other injured middle infielder, second baseman Joe Panik, is easing his way back into baseball activities. Bochy said Panik took 25 swings off a tee Tuesday and was taking ground balls before batting practice Wednesday. The Giants don’t expect Panik to be back until toward the end of their next trip, but Bochy said the fact Panik is back on the field doing baseball work is “good news.”
▪ Bochy had no updates on Matt Cain and the struggling right-hander’s spot in the Giants rotation. He did say that both Tim Hudson and Tim Lincecum project to rejoin the Giants sometime after rosters expand Sept. 1 – and added that one could be brought up sooner if the Giants have a need, such as for Cain’s next rotation turn Sunday.
▪ The Giants’ lineup Wednesday against Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks:
And the Cubs’ lineup against Jake Peavy: